To Open or Not Open: That is the Question

Caitlin Wright, Design Editor

After COVID-19 forced a public shutdown lasting six weeks, some public services have started to open back up, but many are skeptical as to whether or not that’s a wise move.

On May 1, 2020 Utah’s isolation directive was lifted, allowing many public services such as restaurants and stores to start opening up again to get back on their feet after being closed for months. However, because COVID-19 still poses a risk, many are unsure whether or not it’s safe for these places to open. 

Kayla Balling, business and marketing teacher, said that she would be open to going to stores, as long as she is following proper social distancing precautions. However, for restaurants she is not comfortable with dining in, only takeout. Balling says, “I understand that herd immunity and vaccinations are the only way out of this pandemic. Vaccines are 9-18 months away, so herd immunity may be the best option we have,” following this with, “We need a slow roll out so as not to overwhelm medical resources.” Balling also said that there is a point at which she would be uncomfortable with going to these public services. “I would not be comfortable if those around me didn’t feel safe. I will wear masks in public, give 6 feet of personal space and avoid touching things and large gatherings (not hard for an introvert) as long as necessary.”

Student Annie Pinegar agrees that she would only be comfortable going to public services if they are properly spacing people apart and if the workers are wearing masks and gloves. Pinegar then stated her reason for supporting the opening, saying, “At some point we need to start putting money into businesses to help the economy. We also need to see how the virus is going to spread after we open.” Talking about at what point she would be hesitant, Pinegar said, “It would make me uncomfortable when there isn’t proper spacing and people aren’t wearing masks and gloves. Also, if someone were ill or coughing.”

Student Prasamsa Bastola also agrees with both Balling and Pinegar, saying, “I am open to go to stores as they start to open up, while still being very careful.” Bastola also said that she would be uncomfortable if there were a lot of people in one space with it being very crowded, much like what Pinegar said.